To provide a degree of guidance to the condition of magazines offered for sale via our web shop, we compiled the following Ratings. There appears to be little in the way of formal, recognised methods of rating magazines specifically. Although similar to books, by their very nature magazines tend to be more 'transient' or 'used and abused' and subject to common damage such as dog-earred corners, loose covers and torn or missing pages. We based our Ratings on what little existing guidelines we were able to find.
MINT (MT) - Near perfect copy. Cover is flat with no surface wear. Cover inks are bright with high reflectivity and minimal fading. Corners are cut square and sharp. Paper is supple and fresh. Spine is tight and flat.
NEAR MINT (NM) - Nearly perfect with only minor imperfections. No corner or impact creases. Stress marks should be almost invisible.
VERY FINE (VFN) - An excellent copy, sharp, bright and clean with supple pages. Cover is relatively flat with almost no surface wear. Cover inks are generally bright with moderate to high reflectivity. Spine may have a couple of almost insignificant transverse stress lines and is almost completely flat. Pages and covers can be yellowish/tannish but not brown and will usually be off-white to white.
FINE (FN) - An exceptional, above-average copy that shows minor wear but is still relatively flat and clean with no creasing or other serious defects. May have slight surface wear and possibly a very small defect such as a few slight cross stress marks on the spine. A fine condition magazine appears to have been read a few times and to have been handled with moderate care. Compared to VF, cover inks are beginning to show a significant reduction in reflectivity but it remains a highly collectible and desirable item.
VERY GOOD (VG) - The average used magazine. A magazine in this grade shows some wear, can have a reading or centre crease or a rolled spine but remains a desirable copy. Some discolouration, fading and minor soiling should be expected. A small triangle (less that half inch) can be missing out of the corner or edge. Store stamps etc have no effect on this grade. Cover and interior pages can have minor tears and folds and the centerfold may be loose or detached. Pages and inside covers may be brown but not brittle. Tape should never be used for magazine repair, however VG condition magazines may have minor tape repair.
GOOD (GD) - This grade has all pages and covers although there may be small pieces missing inside. Magazines in this grade are commonly creased, scuffed, abraded and soiled but completely readable. Often paper quality is low but not brittle. Cover reflectivity is low and in some cases absent.
FAIR (FR) - This grade may have up to one full page missing or cut (i.e. advert or article removed - should be clearly stated by the seller). Its covers should be in place but may have a corner cut beyond half-inch in size and/or show pronounced creasing and other marking (pen marks, damage after removal of cover mounts etc.). Internal pages may show some serious creasing, tanning/browning and minor water/moisture damage.
POOR (PR) May be missing several pages (should be clearly stated by the seller). Covers may be damaged (but should be in place - a magazine without its covers is worthless). This condition is soiled, ragged and may be quite unattractive. As such it should only be considered in special circumstances, more for reference purposes than for your main collection.